Nominated by Senator Alesi, Nick Verzella was inducted into Veterans’ Hall of Fame in June
Earlier this year, East Rochester resident Nick Verzella was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. Nominated by Senator Jim Alesi, Mr. Verzella joined fellow veterans from across New York State on June 14th at a special ceremony at the State Capitol.
“I am always humbled by the brave veterans who selflessly served our country in order to protect the freedoms that we as individuals enjoy today, and there is no greater satisfaction than honoring a man or a woman who has served in the military,” said Senator Alesi. “I have been fortunate to know Nick for many years, and I cannot think of a man more deserving for induction into the Veterans’ Hall of Fame. He has served our nation, state and community of East Rochester with great honor and bravery, and for that we are eternally grateful.”
A member of American Legion Post 1917 in East Rochester, and a perennial fixture as Master of Ceremonies for the village’s Memorial Day observance, Mr. Verzella has been twice named Post 1917 Legionnaire of the Year, and in 1997, was named Monroe County Legionnaire of the Year for his commitment to fellow veterans. Mr. Verzella served in Europe during World War II, first in the 78th Infantry Division and later in the 16th Constabulary Squadron in occupation of Berlin. Returning home from Berlin, he graduated from SUNY Brockport, and began a distinguished, thirty-nine year career in public education in East Rochester schools, receiving numerous accolades for his years as a teacher, administrator and coach.
“The New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame was created to honor and recognize outstanding veterans from the Empire State, like Nick Verzella, who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life,” continued Senator Alesi. “Their meritorious service to our nation deserves the special recognition that only a Hall of Fame can provide, as a fitting expression of our gratitude and admiration."
Mr. Verzella will join the late Ralph L. Chinelly of East Rochester (2005), General Norbert J. Rappl of Irondequoit (2007), and Colonel John J. Perrone of Penfield (2010) as members of the Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame nominated by Senator Alesi.
To honor our veterans’ contributions and service to our country, and in recognition of their valor and patriotism, Senator Alesi has been a longtime champion for our veterans. Dating back to his days as a Monroe County Legislator and State Assemblyman, Senator Alesi has been a vocal advocate on issues important to those that have served in the Armed Forces, and a strong supporter of veterans service organizations, including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) and Honor Flight.
During his tenure in office, Senator Alesi has secured nearly $2,000,000 for many American Legion and VFW posts in his district, VOC, and various community events and projects dedicated to ensuring that the service, and lives, of our veterans will be forever honored and remembered – such as welcoming the International Marine Tattoo to Rochester, and the Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial to Fairport; completing the World War II and Korean War memorials; serving on the Advisory Board for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park; dedicating the James E. Widener Memorial Bridge in Chili; and renaming portions of area highways the Korean War Memorial Highway, the Monroe County American Legion Highway, and the POW-MIA Memorial Highway.
Many of the Senator’s proudest moments in office have been the opportunities to host ceremonies where veterans in the 55th Senate District received New York State’s Highest Military Awards: the Conspicuous Service Cross, the Conspicuous Service Star, and the Medal for Merit.